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Gov. Otter Wants Rainy Day Fund Replenished

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter proposes to add another $71 million to Idaho’s rainy day accounts, including for education, on grounds that the state should prepare for the next economic downturn.

In his budget proposal to lawmakers yesterday, Otter said he aims to put $35 million into the Budget Stabilization Fund, which now has about $136 million.

Additionally, Otter wants to put $36 million into education reserves, $29 million for K-12 schools, and another $7 million for colleges and universities. Idaho had about $400 million in its rainy day funds back in 2009, when it began a long, four-year period of drawing them down to nearly nothing. In championing additional savings for future calamity, Otter said the state isn’t yet where it needs to be in rebuilding its fiscal buffer.

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